Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has emerged winner of men’s singles of this year’s edition of the 2018 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open.
The home boy on Sunday defeated Frenchman, Antoine Hachard, the number 16 seed by 11-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 at the Sir Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium.
It was Hachard who made the better start, he established an 8-4 lead in the opening game, before Quadri responded to win the next five points; at 10-9 Quadri held game point, he was unable to convert. On his second opportunity at 12-11 Hachard seized the chance.
Composed, continually directing the first attack towards the backhand of Quadri, Hachard secured an 8-5 lead in the third, before at 10-6 holding four game points, two were saved but not a third, the Frenchman held the advantage.
In the fourth game, Hachard continued the policy of preventing Aruna executing a series of forehand topspin strokes. Striving ever sinew, Aruna Quadri established a 10-7 lead; he seized the first opportunity, it was parity.
Undoubtedly, the success was a momentum change, in the fifth game Quadri went ahead 4-1.
The Nigerian hero was not to be denied, at 10-4 he held six game points.
Bolstered by the passionate support, in the sixth game Quadri moved ahead 8-3, while Hachard claimed the next two points but the host put soul together to secure the next to win the tournament.
Aruna became the first player to win on home soil since the tournament began in 2014.